I threw a party last night and didn't serve booze.

I threw a party and didn’t serve booze..png

This past week I made it my intention to talk about being sober and social at the same time.  For a very long time I didn’t really believe it to be possible. As we move into the holiday season, I wanted to give an extra dose of faith and courage to those playing with the idea of sobriety or who are freshly sober.

It IS possible, it CAN happen, thoughts and beliefs DO change if you want them to. I handed out some practical tips for socializing and talked about my process for reframing beliefs around having fun without booze.

Unintentionally, this conversation came full circle this weekend.  I hosted a gathering of friends in my new home. We had a fire ceremony in my backyard during which we let go of what is no longer serving us and called in something new that will.

The purpose was to fill my home with warm, strong, female energy- something I had been lacking in prior months and have been cultivating more of.  We chatted, laughed, ate soup, drank hot tea and bubbly water, and sat by a fire. It was.... Lovely.

Here’s the crazy thing:  It didn’t even occur to me that I wasn’t providing an alcoholic beverage option for anyone to enjoy, or that I should be providing one (I was more concerned with hosting a party solo and building a firepit and fire by myself- both of which were successful endeavors btw.)  There was no awkward explanation, “well I don’t drink alcohol so I don’t have any… but PLEASE feel free to bring your own,” it just was what it was. Had someone brought a bottle of wine to enjoy there would have been no problem, but it happened to not come up. What did come up was multiple women sharing with me reasons they were choosing not to drink or to drink less.

Physical health, mental clarity, cultivating healthy relationships, setting an example for children, forming new healthier coping mechanisms were just a few.

Without any effort, a space opened up for the conversation to happen.

Two years ago the idea of this party would have been entirely inconceivable to me. Not only would I have encouraged everyone to bring whatever alcohol they wanted to drink and made a point of having a conversation about it, but I probably would have picked up some beer or wine just to be sure everyone had something to enjoy.

The point is: Shift happens.  It doesn’t happen all at once, and it might not happen in the order that makes most sense to your logical mind or that is most convenient BUT…. it happens. If you are in the first few months or are just trying on sobriety and can’t imagine what it looks like down the road for you- let this be a snapshot of a maybe.


On becoming a SHE RECOVERS COACH

When I first began my journey into sobriety I was extremely uncomfortable with words like recovery, alcoholic, sobriety, and addiction. I didn’t know if they accurately described me, I didn’t want them to define me, and I definitely didn’t want to be categorized as “other.” All I really wanted was to stop doing the thing that was causing me distress without any fanfare. I certainly didn’t see recovery becoming my life’s work, and yet here I am….

Many people looked at my drinking habits and consider them to be more “normal” than “alcoholic.” This is true of MANY people in recovery, however just because something is considered normal, does not mean that it’s good or healthy. One of the guiding principles of She Recovers is that we DON’T need to hit rock bottom to pursue recovery in any area of our lives. As my journey away from using substances continued, this became self-evident. I slowly and (mostly) mindfully began peeling back the layers of my life and examining what was underneath. I looked at my relationship with food, fitness, romance, friends, family, social media, finances, and career just to name a few. I have worked hard to make changes, and I continue to learn, grow, and make changes daily. I consider myself a work in progress, and I assume this work will continue for the rest of my life.

What I’ve realized is that struggling with alcohol use to any extent, big or small (or drug use, or food addiction, sex addiction, love addiction, whatever addiction) does not make me (or you or him or her) an “other” at all. RECOVERING is something that every human does every day on some level or another. Not only that, but to come full circle, this thing that I thought made me SEPARATE was actually the thing that made me HUMAN and by trying to hide it I was actually severing my ties to humanity. I have no regrets about where I’ve been because it’s brought me to where I am right now and I’m eternally grateful for every lesson learned. September is National Recovery Month. I’m sharing this to do my part in ending the shame and stigma surrounding addiction and to give a face to recovery. And a big thank you to Hip Sobriety Laura McKowen Dawn Nickel Taryn Strong Annie Grace and many others for getting this conversation started.